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Year: 2013

Will’s Musical News and Events

It’s been a while since I wrote about my musical endeavors here, so I thought I’d post a quick update.

My main band for the last two years has been The Night Trotters, a traditional bluegrass outfit with some top-notch musicians kind enough to join me. We’ve been playing around Asheville a bit, and we just finished an EP entitled Thoroughbred Bluegrass Music. You can listen to the songs from the EP on our website, and you can buy the whole thing for a very cheap price from CDBaby. It’s also available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Needless to say, I’ve been playing banjo with The Night Trotters, but I haven’t forgotten about the drums.

My old pal (Chris) Morgan Geer asked me to play some gigs on drums with Drunken Prayer on a few upcoming dates to help promote the release of his new CD, House of Morgan. Some of the tunes from that album are reworked versions of songs he and I recorded way back in the days of 1995 (or so) at WWC. These tunes have been taken and integrated into new ways of hearing them thanks to the marvel of modern electronics.

So, we will be playing some of those old tunes, in addition to some new ones, at these fine establishments:

  • Nov 21 at The Double Crown (CD release show)
  • December 13 at Static Age Records
  • December 27 – to be announced soon.

Maybe I’ll see you there…

Words and Sayings That Annoy Me

Hate is such a strong word, and to be honest, it’s not that this list of sayings is something that really keeps me up at night. These words and sayings just really irk me for some reason. Several of these sayings seem to have been born from the Internet era, often being found in tweets, Facebook updates, and forum postings. Others are sayings I’ve heard throughout the years. Either way, I’d love to see them put to rest!

“This band is killing it.”

Having been a member of many a band, it’s nice to know that people are into what you are doing it, but this saying turns what could have been an otherwise nice compliment about a musician’s skills, performance, and/or songwriting prowess into a fraternity brother’s simplistic assessment of the situation. If you really like the way a band is sounding and you are at their live show, cheer, clap, and buy their records and t-shirts. If you feel the need to make your friends jealous by bragging about it on Twitter, try something more erudite such as “This band puts on an amazing live show. You should be here next time.”

“Just sayin’.”

This one has annoyed me perhaps more than any other, and it’s been a trend that spans just about every online social outlet. All I really need to do here is quote a recent Bill Maher ‘New Rule’:

New Rule: If you end your tweet with the words “Just sayin’,” then you’ve just tweeted something incredibly shitty.

No one ever tweets, “Had a nice lunch with my sister. Just sayin’.” It’s always, “Mexicans are what’s wrong with this country. Just sayin’.” How about this? You drop the “just sayin'” and we’ll go ahead and assume that’s what you were just saying based on the fact that you just said it.

“Wow. Just. Wow.”

This saying is used in an attempt at expressing one’s disbelief at something they just saw or read. Often found in the comments of Facebook posts, it has become the de-facto statement when someone is thinking, “Gee, that is really awful/terrible/horrific and I feel very strongly about it, but I don’t really feel like typing any of that so I’ll just leave this cliche here as an attempt to let you know that I do care.”

“Welcome to my world.”

People say this when you’ve expressed a frustration at something they tend to deal with a lot. It is a great way of diverting the topic of conversation away from the person who just expressed an honest emotion about a situation, and toward the person who likes being the center of attention.


Pronounced “suuuuuun,” this is a uniquely Southern saying which has transgressed beyond gender boundaries and is commonly heard in bluegrass picking circles. It’s the southern version of “Awesome, dude.” It can also be applicated as a salutation or any attempt at affirmation. It is a simplistic way to exonerate a thoughtful expression of approval. Who has time to say, “You just did an amazing job at singing that song,” when you can just get away with, “soooooon!”

Needless to say, this term has nothing to do with actual mother/son or father/son relationships.

“Think outside the box.”

Originating from the “9 dot” puzzle, this saying has been so overused that it has become its own box.

“That’s above my pay grade.”

That’s a cop out if I ever heard one. Do it anyway.


This is an attempt to redescribe something which is completely juvenile in nature as something that is OK for adults to do. It pretty much fails in that it still means ‘grown people trying to squeeze into superhero costumes.’ I will say that I’d be the first person in line to own an authentic stormtrooper costume, but I will also be the first person to acknowledge the childhood fantasy being played rather than trying to cloak it in some sort of sophisticated homage to a canon of literature.

“I know enough to be dangerous.”

Do you? Then by all means, put down the keyboard.

Responsive Design and WordPress

This year we have seen the dawning of the responsive design craze amongst web designers and developers. I remained skeptical about the trend, primarily because I was raised in the world of good usability and accessibility, and breakpoints and adaptive images seemed incongruous and presumptuous with the foundations of those schools of thought. While responsive design proponents like to say that multi-device adaptation is providing good usability, I disagree.

Relating to my favorite CMS, WordPress, the whole responsive design trend has rubbed me in even more wrong ways. I’ve watched designer after designer dive into responsive WordPress themes, and I’ve even tried using a few myself, only to leave me wondering…why?

This article has some great analyses on this exact topic, and it provides some good food for thought in regards to responsive design and WordPress. From the article:

My biggest issue with responsive design is that it is a reactive client-side approach which, in the context of a server-side content management system like WordPress, seems completely unnecessary.

What are your thoughts on responsive design and WordPress?

Hey Microsoft, I Heard You Need a New CEO

Dear Microsoft,

It’s been all over the news this week that Steve Ballmer has decided to step down as CEO. At first this seemed like a decision he had come to by himself, perhaps having felt as if his work here was done. Some started speculating that he was forced out by the board. Whatever the case, it has become clear that you will be seeking out a new CEO over the coming 12 months.

You need to choose me, and here is why:

1. I will work for half the money. It was reported that Ballmer made $1.3 million in 2012. I will step into his job for half the money.

2. I know what is wrong with your products, and I know how to fix them. I am someone who is intimately familiar with your apps and operating systems, and I am even more intimately familiar with fixing them. From disinfecting them, hardening them, cleaning them up, making them usable, and working around their aggravating inconsistencies, I know what is wrong with your shit. And I know how to fix it.

3. I know your competition. I got so fed up with you around the time Windows ME came out, I wrote you off completely, wiped all my machines, and became a Linux die-hard. I only used you when I had to. Eventually I ended up becoming a Mac user as I matured into adulthood and could actually (almost) afford the damn things. I know what it’s like to hate on Microsoft, I know why people do it, and I know what you can do to turn that around. I know what makes a Mac so much more appealing in the eyes of those customers you are so quickly losing.

My experience is based in reality. The reality of day-to-day usage and frustration with your products. When is the last time Ballmer sat down and tried to wipe a hard drive and reinstall Windows XP for someone? When is the last time anyone on your board, for that matter, had to disinfect a Windows 7 box riddled with malware and explain to their mother-in-law how her computer completely stopped functioning and why she now needs to change her online banking passwords?

Sure, there are thousands of consumers such as myself who are equally as familiar with your problems, and each have their own opinions on what you need to fix about yourself, but I bring to the table the experience of seeing you fail in many environments: colleges, non-profits, corporations, and federal government. I have worked across all of these sectors over the years, and I have witnessed each one seek out alternative solutions to the problems you consistently present.

Microsoft, you are out of touch, and that is why you are quickly becoming irrelevant. As you seek a new CEO, I hope that you strongly consider someone who is in touch, and I hope you even more strongly consider that person to be me.

Should You Use A Carousel?

Carousels are this decade’s <blink> tag.

Carousels, also known as ‘sliders’ or ‘slideshows’ on your home page give the appearance of excitement and dynamics. Apparently, however, they accomplish nothing, and anything you put inside them tends to get ignored by your visitors. I am guilty of having built many websites with carousels on the homepage, and for a while I thought they were a good idea, but I still had in the back of my mind somewhere that they were just not a very smart way to present content. Now the evidence is appearing to confirm this.

Check this out for a good explanation and some examples.